Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Don't throw your old CDs and DVDs into landfill. They can be recycled into useful products, so think of them as a resource, not as trash.
In Australia, recycling extends beyond your bin service. E-waste such as compact discs and DVDs are perfect examples of items that end up in landfill because people are not aware of how to properly recycle them.
CDs and DVDs contain aluminium and polycarbonate (a type of plastic) and almost all of that material can be recovered for reuse.
How awesome is that!
These are generally not able to be processed by local council services but there are many places that CAN and all you need to do is get them there and they do the rest for free.
Remember, these cannot be placed into curbside recycle bins!
Please Don't Wish-Cycle
If you've looked around a bit on this site, you will already know I'm attempting to live zero waste, and this means throwing as little as possible into landfill.
I also try to focus on Repair, Reuse and Repurpose BEFORE Recycling anything.
If you want to keep your old music, games and movies but they are scratched, opt to REPAIR first.
Could they be REUSED?
Consider selling, donating and giving away those that are in good condition.
Can they be REPURPOSED?
Yes, totally! CDs and DVDs can be re-purposed into drink coasters, hung in gardens to deter birds, to create mosaics and craft projects just to name a few.
(I recommend checking out Pinterest for ideas but I really love this DIY phone dock made from old CDs)
Note: REFUSE is also a big thing in my zero waste world.
This means I refuse to buy or accept particular items, like CDs and DVDs. Instead, I borrow physical or digital versions and always check my library as a first call. (I LOVE the sharing economy)
Now, let's get into how to actually RECYCLE your CDs and DVDs...
Here are some fantastic places around Australia to check out, and they accept other forms of electronic waste like old TVs, computers and more.
So many locations to drop off around Australia, including Office Works
Their website has some educational resources and their facebook page is worth following to keep up to date.
Image from Tech Collect
They have a number of locations around Australia however mostly in Victoria and New South Wales. Click above to find one near you.
So many locations around SOUTH AUSTRALIA, including Bunnings and more remote areas. Check out their online shop for refurbished items.
My favourite place, partly because it's local, but also because I know they manually dismantle electronic waste rather than ship it all off overseas. If you ever have an opportunity, take a tour there!
Based in Gepps Cross, South Australia.
Australia wide locations. You'll also find drop off points at places like Harvey Norman and Mitre 10.
Can Businesses Recycle CDs and DVDs?
The above places focus on consumer recycling and are free, but it's always a different story for businesses. Head to this page on Business Recycling to find out where and how to recycle those CDs and DVDs.
Let's keep our old CDs and DVDs out of landfill and make sure we recycle them properly.
Are there more places? I suspect there are, so let me know and I'll add them to the list.